Probe confirms misuse of Goddess Saraswati idol

Probe confirms misuse of Goddess Saraswati idol
Highlights

A five-member team, led by Endowment Assistant Commissioner Srinivas, confirmed that the processional deity and the one that was used to conduct initiation into education at Devarakonda in Nalgonda district were the same, after conducting a thorough investigation at Gyanasaraswati temple here on Thursday.

Basara: A five-member team, led by Endowment Assistant Commissioner Srinivas, confirmed that the processional deity and the one that was used to conduct initiation into education at Devarakonda in Nalgonda district were the same, after conducting a thorough investigation at Gyanasaraswati temple here on Thursday.

In a marathon inquiry held from 4 am till noon, the team questioned eye-witnesses Suseela and Ramesh and recorded their statements on how the image was displaced and also that of temple Executive Officer Sudhakar Reddy and temple priests.

However, the accused, Sanjay Sharma and Pranay Kumar, did not depose before the investigating team. Team chairman Srinivas said that the processional deity had crossed the town’s borders.

The investigators visited the room, where the idol was kept. They also went through the official records on the idols at the temple. Srinivas said that the inquiry report would be submitted to the Endowment Department.

Several lacunae in the temple administration have been detected in maintaining the temple records, including not mentioning the processional deity in them. The temple EO and his subordinates’ style of functioning was not transparent, the team felt.

The displacement of the idol became possible because of the negligence of the Executive Officer and the staff members, they opined.

The deity that was found during the police search and the deity that was used to conduct Aksharabhyasam at Devarakonda were one and the same.

The probe team questioned the Executive Officer as to why the CCTV cameras failed to record the temple priest taking away the idol from the temple. They sought to know as to why not even a single camera out of the 24 had failed to function on the day.

The probe team is recommended disciplinary action against the idol custodian and the temple superintendent.

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